Politicians from across opposing political divides in Kisumu have held a consultative forum aimed at fostering peaceful campaigns ahead of the August 8 elections.
The leaders were drawn from the Jubilee Party and the opposition National Supper Alliance (Nasa) affiliate parties.
Kisumu County Jubilee governorship candidate Atieno Otieno and Ford Kenya senate candidate Millicent Abudho who co-chaired the meeting with the youth in Kisumu said they had agreed to preach peace during the campaigns.
“We met leaders from different parties and the youth under the umbrella of the Youth Agenda and unanimously agreed to ensure a smooth running of the campaigns,” Ms Otieno said.
She went on: “We appreciate the fact that our development agenda is pegged on peace and as leaders we must ensure this for good coexistence regardless of our party affiliations.”
Ms Abudho said the youth agreed not to be used by politicians to cause violence.
“We have talked to them and they have agreed to resist any attempts by politicians to impress upon them to cause violence for handouts,” Ms Abudho said.
The senate candidate noted that the move by politicians from different parties to come together was welcome as it could help cool down rising political temperatures in the region.
Ms Otieno said Kisumu is a cosmopolitan town with diverse political parties “hence different leaders must embrace democracy by employing legal strategies to ask for votes.”
The meeting came barely a day after some Jubilee party candidates is Nyanza said they were facing resistance in their campaigns.
The Jubilee candidates said some of the challenges they face include physical and social media attack, destruction of their campaign materials, threats, booing, harassment and intimidation.
On Thursday, Ms Otieno said they hoped after their meeting, all politicians will stick to the IEBC code of conduct to enhance peaceful campaigns.
In a separate interview, Karachuonyo MP James Rege who defected to Jubilee and is not defending his seat, said he is keen on delivering the region’s votes to President Kenyatta’s basket.
He added that they were watching out on any hooliganism directed at Jubilee candidates.
However, he said that no harassment has been reported among Jubilee supporters and candidates in the constituency.
“I have never been booed anywhere as I drum up support for His Excellency the President and this shows that things have changed. We are just looking for a 30 to 40 per cent victory for Jubilee especially in Karachuonyo,” said the MP.
“IEBC must, however, come true to make sure there will be no vote stuffing in ODM strongholds. We shall watch them. We are for real and other parties must be ready to witness the many votes we shall garner from Nyanza,” he warned.